Tag Archive - authenticity


Leadership and the Slinky Dog Principle

It’s the simple things that are often times the most profound in life. True leadership principles are like this, simple, but not necessarily easy. Often times they are found in simple analogies. Other times they are found in simple statements compact with wisdom that transcends time, cultures, and industries. Believe it or not, much like those compact wise statements there’s much we can learn from child’s play toy. The slink dog toy is one such toy. In fact there are 3 things that you and I can learn from the slinky dog toy that will make or break our leadership.


When the head of the slinky dog gets too far in front, the wire that connects the two ends gets stretched to the point where it can create great strain and stress it to the point of breaking. When leaders get too far in front and lead from a distance, unnecessary strain & stress is created in the organization. Lead from a distance, refuse to be vulnerable, resist authenticity and you’ll lose your team.


When the slinky dog is stretched to far, too often, it can lose its elasticity & flexibility. If a leaders reaction to stress is to become rigid, refuse to offer trust, and to drift toward policy and rules instead of principles you’ll erode your leadership.


If the slinky dog doesn’t keep the right pace injury can occur. If the head drags the rear along it’s easy for people to get their knees skinned. If the head gets too far out in front and then abruptly slows down to allow the rear to catch up you’re looking at a terrible collision. The pace of the leader is essential to success.

Photo Credit: bikesandwich via Compfight cc

Posted in Leadership


Why the Church Wins When the Church Staff are in a Small Group

I talk to church leaders all the time who bring up how lonely they feel in leadership. My response? You’re as lonely as you want to be. Yes, relationships are risky. Any time you entrust your heart with others there’s a chance that it won’t be handled well. And I understand that church leaders often feel pressure to perform and live up to unrealistic expectations of perfection. But if the church staff chooses to shrink back from vulnerability and authenticity in relationship with others then you’ll build a culture of superficial pretending in your church. That’s why when the church staff takes the risk and jumps into a small group bible study the whole church wins!

Moral Authority

It’s hard to say, “Do as I say, and not as I do.” It doesn’t work in parenting and it doesn’t work in leadership. In fact it erodes trust, and trust is the fuel that leadership runs on. Being in a group provides church leadership the moral standing to make the ask for everyone else to do the same.


The church always takes on the culture of the staff. If you want to build a culture of groups in your church it starts with the staff.

Personal Growth

Just because your church staff are professional Christians doesn’t mean they’re done growing (at least I hope not). Spiritual growth always happens best in circles not rows and in the context of meaningful relationships.


The bottom line is bad things happen when we live in isolation from others. All of us need the natural built in accountability that comes through the relationships that are found in small groups.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation